Nutt Cracks On Auburn Recruit With 2011 Camaro

With the walls closing in on his coaching career at Ole Miss, Houston Nutt lashed out at Auburn Monday during a speech to the Monday Morning Quarterback Club in Birmingham.

Jermaine Whitehead: Camaro bought by parents after signing with Auburn

Using the defense of oversigning as a thinly-veiled pretense, Nutt seemed to intimate to the group that a late commitment to Auburn last February by a Mississippi high school recruit might indicate a lack of NCAA rules compliance.

From Jon Solomon of the BIRMINGHAM NEWS:

“Gene Chizik came in and stole my man Jermaine Whitehead,” Nutt said during a speech today at the Monday Morning Quarterback Club in Birmingham. “I asked Gene, ‘Now Gene, you didn’t even have a home visit.’ It must be nice to hold up that crystal ball. Hold up a crystal ball and get one of my best players.”

Whitehead, a Mississippi native whose development this season has been praised by Chizik, was a four-star recruit last winter. At one time, Whitehead said he was committed to Mississippi State.

Nutt, who is often criticized for oversigning, said Whitehead was committed to Ole Miss for a month-and-a-half up to the final week before Signing Day.

“He took my hand and said, ‘Coach Nutt, I’m coming to play for you,’” Nutt said. “I took his word!”

Whitehead visited Auburn for its Big Cat weekend in 2010, for its game against Georgia in the fall and several other times, as well, including the final weekend before Signing Day.

“Jermaine didn’t go on Friday. He left Saturday,” Nutt said. “We stayed in his house until 10 o’clock on Friday night, the last weekend before Signing Day saying, ‘I know he’s not going to Auburn now.’ Wake up, starting to get nervous because Monday and Tuesday before Signing Day and now he doesn’t call. He won’t answer my call.”

Finally, Whitehead told Nutt he was going to sign with Auburn. Nutt described the conversation this way:

“Jermaine: ‘Coach, I gotta go to Auburn.’”

“Why? Why would you go to Auburn? They already won their title. They already have the crystal ball. They don’t need you. I need you.”

“Coach, it’s business.”

“Business? You shook my hand, man! You said you were committed to me!”

“I know, Coach. I’m sorry.”

Does that sound like an argument for oversigning or an all-out assault on the integrity of the Auburn coaching staff?

And why did Nutt single out Whitehead?

Obviously losing a top in-state recruit was a bitter pill, but Nutt’s choice of words in describing Whitehead’s flip probably wasn’t a coincidence.

Four months after Whitehead signed with Auburn, he linked the below photo of a new Camaro in an entry to his @J2Whitehead Twitter account.

Jermaine Whitehead: Camaro bought by parents after signing with Auburn

Whitehead later Tweeted that his parents had bought him the vehicle as a graduation gift, though the current Auburn Tiger later deleted the photo of the car he had previously posted.

Whitehead has since been officially cited as the owner of a 2011 Camaro in a July 21, 2011, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, speeding ticket.

Jermaine Whitehead: Camaro bought by parents after signing with Auburn

In a Pickens County, Alabama, speeding ticket a year earlier, Whitehead was cited as the owner of a 1999 Dodge Stratus.

Is it unreasonable to think that Nutt may have dropped the “Coach, it’s business” business into his speech given what we now know about Whitehead’s Camaro?

CJ Johnson's New Truck

(Nutt questioning a recruit’s late, about-face? Please)

Hours” before Whitehead signed with Auburn on Feb. 2, 2011, Steve Robertson of Scout.com reported:

“My final three are going to be Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Auburn,” said Jermaine. “I am not ready to say who it’s going to be, but I have made my decision and I feel good about everything.”

Whitehead will sign and fax his national letter of intent in the morning and then join teammates, fans and media at a 1 PM press conference at Amanda Elzy High School.

In the end there can only be one, but Jermaine has found some positive things about all of his finalists.

Ole Miss: - “Ole Miss has a great coaching staff and great facilities. A lot of my boys are going up there, so it would be good to be able to play with them.”

Mississippi State: - “Mississippi State is a young team with a lot of talent. I believe they just need the right spark to get them playing at the highest level. They have a bright future.”

Auburn: - “The coaches at Auburn carry a swagger and you can tell they get the most out of all of their players. They have a great campus and great facilities.”

If you take the time to watch Whitehead’s interviews and read his comments throughout his recruitment, he clearly had a handle on the process. His most familiar refrain leading up to his Auburn sign was trying to find immediate playing time while still being in a winning environment. As he’s already on the field for Auburn, which is off to a considerably better start than Ole Miss and Mississippi State, it appears he made the right call - for now.

CJ Johnson Range Rover

(Nutt recruit CJ Johnson after flipping to Ole Miss)

While it isn’t unreasonable to have questions about Whitehead’s Camaro, considering Nutt has failed to translate his own recent experience as beneficiary of a late, about-face by a top-rated recruit into not getting manhandled by Vandy, you can’t blame any recruit for eschewing Nutt’s peepa heppin bidness.


Brooks is on Facebook and Twitter.

Rebel Doesn’t Miss Range Rover: ‘Too Many Miles’

Former Mississippi high school football prospect C.J. Johnson de-committed from Mississippi State deep into the 2011 recruiting process, signing instead with Ole Miss in early February.

CJ Johnson's New Truck

As chronicled here five months ago, Johnson told the media he reneged on his promise to MSU because, at least in part, he was upset by comments made by alleged Mississippi State fans on his Facebook page. Johnson to the JACKSON CLARION-LEDGER on Jan. 26, 2011:

“I saw rumors on the Internet with people saying I decommitted from Mississippi State because my momma has been working for this Ole Miss guy and she cleaned his house up for a year and she made $100,000. If my momma made $100,000 a year, I wouldn’t be driving the truck that I’m driving. I would have had a vehicle a long time ago. It’s just the little stuff like that.”

If Johnson’s Tweets on June 1, his first day of class at Ole Miss, are any indication it appears Houston Nutt does indeed sweat the “little stuff.

CJ Johnson Range Rover

Peepa heppin’ bidniz indeed.


Brooks is on Facebook and Twitter.

Rebel Felled By Twitter After Facebook ‘Goodbye’

Last January C.J. Johnson was a five-star Mississippi high school football recruit trying to decide between Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

CJ Johnson's Twitter Page

Upon ruling out the Maroons, Johnson posted this comment on his Facebook page:

This is my last facebook post and I’m gonna leave facebook with this Linda Johnson has never worked as a house worker making 100 000 dollars a year and I will not be a Mississippi state bulldog and I’m not considering Mississippi state anymore bc you have constantly comment on my page send me crazy inboxes and has made my recruiting experience a living nightmare. Goodbye facebook

After announcing he had committed to Ole Miss, Johnson told the JACKSON (MS) CLARION-LEDGER:

“I saw rumors on the Internet with people saying I decommitted from Mississippi State because my momma has been working for this Ole Miss guy and she cleaned his house up for a year and she made $100,000. If my momma made $100,000 a year, I wouldn’t be driving the truck that I’m driving. I would have had a vehicle a long time ago. It’s just the little stuff like that.

“I got a lot of trash talking by both schools on Facebook, but that didn’t have a lot to do with it. But when you start getting my mom involved and my family involved, that takes it to a whole another level.”

After Johnson’s commit to the Rebels, I noted here that if he didn’t like negative comments on his Facebook page, perhaps Johnson should’ve made his page private and deleted the offending commenters.

CJ Johnson Facebook Message

Now enrolled at Ole Miss, Johnson has taken that concept to heart by no longer putting himself in a position to be affected negatively by Facebook.

Have you seen Johnson’s Twitter page?

UM Admin Poised To Ax ‘Rebels’ & ‘Ole Miss’ Too?

Last year a decades-long University of Mississippi administration campaign to remove Colonel Reb as the school’s mascot culminated with students selecting a Bear as the new symbolic representative of the university.


Stripping the school of its former iconic identifier was applauded by many inside and outside the state but it’s clear that the majority of students and alumni did not appreciate the move. That protestation has manifested into the student and alumni-led Colonel Reb Foundation, which has organized an aggressive media and advertising campaign protesting the change.

Earlier this month, Colonel Reb Foundation Executive Director Brian Ferguson and CRF student chair Kellie Norton appeared on Reb Sports Radio, a network of three Mississippi radio stations based in Oxford.

During the appearance Univ. of Mississippi grad Ferguson and Norton, a junior at Ole Miss, indicated that the loss of the Colonel Reb mascot was likely the first step in the UM administration’s long-term plan to also banish the “Rebels” nickname and the school’s universally-adopted “Ole Miss” identifier.

Save Ole Miss Billboard

(Billboard was recently posted near UM campus)

Here’s an excerpt from UM grad Ferguson and UM student Norton talking about the topic on Reb Sports Radio:

Rebel Sports Rise Host Brent Phillips:  “You talked about the (UM) administration taking away (Ole Miss traditions) piece by piece, do you believe the administration when they say ‘Rebels’ will stay? And that ‘Ole Miss’ will stay? Or are you guys saying eventually it’ll be the ‘Mississippi Black Bears’?

Norton: “I think Ole Miss will be taken away, probably, just because of a few arguments that have come up about that. I think that slowly and surely all of our traditions will be gone. We’ve lost so many of our traditions already, what going to keep them (UM administration) from taking away even more?

Ferguson: “I want to believe them (UM administration), I want to believe that ‘Ole Miss’ is going to stay. I want to believe that ‘Rebels’ is going to stay. But how can you when you’ve been bald-faced lied to so many times?

If the Mississippi administration saw fit to remove Colonel Reb as its school mascot, hard to argue that it won’t eventually move to remove the university’s ‘Rebels’ and ‘Ole Miss’ monikers.

That is, if the organized protestation about Colonel Reb’s ouster ever goes away.

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates

Video: Mississippi State Outfielder Flips Off Crowd

Mississippi State baseball player Brent Brownlee was suspended for one game by Bulldogs head coach John Cohen Monday morning after the outfielder made an obscene gesture on the field immediately following a game yesterday in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Brent Brownlee Flips Off Fans Video

After left fielder Brownlee caught the final out in a 5-3 MSU win over Arkansas Sunday afternoon, he directed a single-finger obscene gesture in the directions of fans as he jogged off the field. Read more…

Ole Miss Kicks Off Secret Roster Deletion Season

Kyle Veazey of the JACKSON CLARION-LEDGER has among the most thankless, difficult jobs in college football beat writing. Veazey covers Ole Miss, which under head coach Houston Nutt has turned laundering scholarships into high art.

Houston Nutt's secret roster deletion season

(Exacly one of seven departing players were on 2010 final two-deep)

For all the recent hoo-hah about Nick Saban’s oversigning practices at Alabama, Nutt’s reputation for secretly running off underperforming scholarship players is equally notorious. In 2009, with 64 scholarship players already on the Ole Miss roser, Nutt signed 38 players to letters of intent. (Schools are only allowed to have 85 players on scholarship.)

So Nutt mostly ran off 17 then-current scholarship players from the 2008 team to make room for the new recruits.

Bruce Feldman Tweets about 2009 Ole Miss 38-signee recruiting class

Of those 2009 Ole Miss recruits, ESPN’s Bruce Feldman Tweeted this wek:

Two yrs ago, Houston Nutt announced a 38-man signing class: 17 of em are not currently on the roster: 9 were 4-stars or better, 3 remain.

That brings us to Veazey’s inevitable story this week about the ever-changing state of Nutt’s 2011 roster - and the sudden, somewhat mysterious deletions from it since signing day.

Excerpts of Veazey’s roster report below are in italic followed by my quickie analysis of the players who - in the majority of cases - were cast adrift by Ole Miss: Read more…

Photo: New Colonel Reb ‘Save Ole Miss’ Billboard

Despite losing the battle to keep Colonel Reb, Ole Miss supporters apparently haven’t given up the fight.

Save Ole Miss Billboard

(Rumor Has It Colonel Reb’s a Switch-Hitter)

A new billboard serving as a subtle reminder to Colonel Reb’s cause is now located just west of the University of Mississippi campus and the Oxford business district.

Save Ole Miss Billboard

(Ole Miss Employing Black Bear Border Patrol?

But wait, there’s more! Read more…

Video: Major New Talent Development At Ole Miss

Some in the state of Mississippi are no doubt wondering if last season’s 4-8 record exposed Houston Nutt for the coach he really is.

Houston Nutt on his new talent

So it’s no wonder that after Ole Miss’ release to the media yesterday detailing the Rebel 2011 recruiting class, Nutt wasn’t reluctant in claiming to the media that he’d cleaned up on recruiting.

To that end, here’s some breaking video of Nutt at his press conference in Oxford yesterday as he followed up with the gathered media on a major new talent development at Ole Miss. Read more…

Reneging Recruit’s Facebook Hate Claim Is Bogus

Five weeks ago, the state of Mississippi’s top football recruit, linebacker CJ Johnson, said the following about his verbal commitment to play football at Mississippi State:

CJ Johnson Facebook Message

I am still going to visit Ole Miss and LSU. I want to just take those visits to just visit and my mom said I should take advantage of the opportunity. But I am still going to Mississippi State. It’s just like what my dad told me before he passed away. He said ‘son, the only thing you have in this world is your word’. I am committed to Mississippi State and that’s where I am going to school.

Naturally, Johnson made his final commitment yesterday to Ole Miss.

Despite Johnson’s previous commit to MSU, his flip-flop wasn’t a surprise. The first week of January, after then-Mississippi State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was hired to take over the Univ. of Texas defense, Johnson told the MOBILE PRESS-REGISTER that his commit to MSU was wavering. Johnson:

It started off that (former MSU asst. coach) Mark Hudspeth was recruiting me, and he left and went to Louisiana-Lafayette, and then coach Diaz left and went to Texas. So it kind of got me thinking about some things and I don’t feel as comfortable as I did.”

Once Johnson made public that his football services were again up for grabs, all hell broke loose on his personal Facebook page.

Until his verbal yesterday, the “wall” of Johnson’s Facebook page was littered with accusations that his mother had been hired for a high-paying job by an Ole Miss operative days before the linebacker prospect spurned Mississippi State in early January.

Hours before he committed to Mississippi yesterday, Johnson posted the following message on that same Facebook page:

CJ Johnson Facebook Message

This is my last facebook post and I’m gonna leave facebook with this Linda Johnson has never worked as a house worker making 100 000 dollars a year and I will not be a Mississippi state bulldog and I’m not considering Mississippi state anymore bc you have constantly comment on my page send me crazy inboxes and has made my recruiting experience a living nightmare. Goodbye facebook

One minute later, Johnson posted a somewhat contradictory message about why he wouldn’t be seen in Starkvegas anytime soon:

CJ Johnson Facebook Message

My decision wasn’t based off of facebook either if it rub any ppl that way ole miss is a better fit for CJ Johnson

So Johnson said he was upset at the wall posts on his personal Facebook page - and personal messages - and that those comments led him to spurn Mississippi State but that his decision to attend Ole Miss “wasn’t based off Facebook either.

In a story published today in the JACKSON (MS) CLARION-LEDGER, Johnson said of his final commit to Ole Miss: “Man, I’m done with this crap and I’m ready to get it over with.

More from Johnson:

“I saw rumors on the Internet with people saying I decommitted from Mississippi State because my momma has been working for this Ole Miss guy and she cleaned his house up for a year and she made $100,000. If my momma made $100,000 a year, I wouldn’t be driving the truck that I’m driving. I would have had a vehicle a long time ago. It’s just the little stuff like that.

“I got a lot of trash talking by both schools on Facebook, but that didn’t have a lot to do with it. But when you start getting my mom involved and my family involved, that takes it to a whole another level.”

Johnson’s mother Linda added to the Clarion-Ledger, “I thank God this is my last round. It’s been really crazy this time.

Obviously the abuse Johnson was subjected to by fans was uncalled for, but what he neglected to mention is that he authorized every single person who posted or sent him the messages that apparently caused him and his mother such consternation to do so. Read more…

Audio of Ex-Aztec to Hoke: ‘F— You, F— Michigan’

Outspoken former San Diego State and NFL star Kyle Turley guested on the Scott and B.R. Show on XX 1090 in San Diego this week to talk about the departure of Aztec football coach Brady Hoke to Michigan.

Brady Hoke Kyle Turley

(Audio highlights below? Yesssir)

Combine one of my favorite radio shows, as the Scott Kaplan & Billy Ray Smith production has been for many years, with one of the few sports personalities who’ll unmute my ‘puter for more than a couple-six seconds and,  welp  … let’s just say that’s when the magic happens.

I can attest that the entire interview is a verifiable treasure already worthy enshrinement into the pantheon of great radio moments like Orson Welles‘ 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast, Russ Hodges’The Giants win the Pennant! The Giants win the Pennant!” call in 1951, and the complete archive of  David Lee Roth’s New York morning shows following his ascension into Howard Stern’s terrestrial radio timeslot. (Both weeks.)

Enough gush, some snipped clips:
Read more…